HE Policy Update



David Cameron has announced that from 2017, candidates’ names will be removed from university application forms. He announced it is part of a plan to prevent unconscious bias against candidates from minority groups.  UCAS has announced it will consult on name-blind applications with higher education institutions. The Conservatives have become the party of equality (The Guardian).


Research Councils

With the upcoming spending review due in November, there are concerns over funding for UK research.  Recent concerns are around the future of the innovation agency, Innovate UK. It has been reported that ministers may be exploring whether Innovate UK’s £600 million of annual grants to support business R&D could be converted into loans. The spending review is just the start of a battle for UK research (The Guardian).


Vince Cable has said that new powers to tackle Islamist extremism on campus will lead to universities banning non-Muslim speakers such as Nigel Farage and Germaine Greer in efforts to demonstrate impartiality. Vince Cable: Fight against extremism will lead to “bland” society (The Telegraph).


Post-1992 Universities

A recent study by PolicyBee has revealed that traditional and elite universities in the Russell Group are less likely to produce budding entrepreneurs when compared with post-1992 institutions.  Russell Group ‘less likely’ to produce entrepreneurs compared with post-1992 universities (The Independent).


Part-time Students

A report by the Higher Education Policy Institute has claimed that a sharp fall in the number of part-time students at England’s universities is harming the economy and limiting social mobility. The report says changes to student funding arrangements from 2012 and inflexible course structures are to blame. Warning over falling numbers of part-time students (BBC News).

Overseas Students

It is thought the Home Office intends to use data from new checks on those exiting the country, which were introduced at all UK ports and airports in April, as the basis to force universities to take more responsibility for ensuring that graduates from outside the European Union do not overstay their visas. Theresa May ‘plans on making universities ensure overseas graduates leave UK’ (THE).



Million+ have argued that the government should pull back from its plans to link outcomes from the teaching excellence framework to permission to raise tuition fees in line with inflation. TEF: pull back from link to fees, urges Million+ (THE).